There are so many things so many of us take for granted on an everyday basis that millions of people in the world are forced to live without, such as electricity and medical care. There are also many extremely simple and basic things that might not even  come to mind when thinking about how lucky we are to live where we do because we have never, ever had to do without them. Shoes are one of them.

Try. Just for a second, try to imagine doing virtually any of the things you do on an everyday basis without shoes. How many sharp little stones and even pieces of glass would you likely get stuck in your feet during a short walk to the store or to work? How would you ever kick a ball without bending your toes painfully backwards? And how much more at risk would your feet be of becoming infected when the millions of bacteria the ground is covered with got into even a tiny cut or over-scratched mosquito bite? In other words, life without shoes is much less comfortable and much more dangerous, yet it is estimated that around 300 million people in the world today are so impoverished that they cannot afford shoes. One Day Without Shoes Day was created to help people who have never known such extreme poverty put themselves in the proverbial shoes of those who are forced to go without every day, raise awareness about the problem and money to combat it.

The History of One Day Without Shoes Day

One Day Without Shoes Day was created by the Californian company Toms Shoes to encourage people to pay more attention to the numerous problems a lack of shoes can cause in the lives of impoverished children. It all started when Blake Mycoskie, the owner of Toms Shoes, visited Argentina in 2006  and noticed that many of the children were running through the streets barefooted. Soon, he discovered that a lack of shoes was a wider problem in Argentina as well as other developing countries and he decided that he wanted to use his shoe company to help them, especially because the lack of shoes often had a serious impact on those childrens’ lives by discouraging them from attending school and making it much easier for them to contract various infections.  Mycoskie then came up with the “one for one” business model, meaning that for every pair of shoes his company sold, it would provide a new pair of shoes free of charge to the shoeless youth of Argentina and other developing countries. The first 10,000 pairs of free shoes were distributed in to Argentinian children in October 2006.

How to Celebrate One Day Without Shoes Day

The best way to celebrate this day is to make the decision to go without shoes for a day just so you can see for yourself how much a few pieces of leather and rubber can change a life for the better. You could also convince a few friends or family members to do the same—the more people become aware of the problem, the better. Of course, you could also make a point of purchasing a pair of shoes from Toms so another pair can be donated to an impoverished child somewhere. If you don’t need another pair of shoes, you can go through your closet in search of both shoes and clothes you don’t wear anymore that are still in good condition and then donate them directly to organizations devoted to helping clothe the less fortunate. Any little thing you do can help!

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The4thHole
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The4thHole

Perfect day to see all the pretty bare feet and hopefully get a footjob or 2

Heath Massery
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Heath Massery

I like the thought but being barefoot is not at all dangerous and there is virtually no risk. I’ve been habitually barefoot for over a year and a half and I’ve never had a single problem. Again I like the idea but like y’all said above, why don’t you worry about a bigger problem like lack of healthcare instead of destroying people’s feet with shoes?

Susan Milton
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I love the idea of people who normally wear shoes trying a day without them for a good cause! Unfortunately, though, you guys don’t seem to have much of an understanding of what living without shoes is actually like. I’ve been living my life almost entirely barefoot for 9 years now, and have encountered none of the problems you mention. In fact my foot health, and overall health and well-being are much improved since ditching the shoes. Check out barefootalliance.org , barefooters.org , barefootislegal.org as well as the social media accounts of these and many other groups and individuals living… Read more »

Joshua
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Joshua

I love going barefoot, it feels so much more natural than squeezing my feet into shoes. Helping those with less is always a beautiful thing but I do feel more people should in fact go barefoot and feel the difference and the sense of freedom and grounding it brings.

Brian Davidson
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Brian Davidson

I love nothing better than walking barefoot: the contact with different surfaces, the muscle development, not feeling restricted. The human foot is perfectly shaped for walking without shoes.
If Toms Shoes must help, for goodness’ sake please do not give out shoes that restrict the growth of the foot, provide unnatural support, or lead to problems with knees, hips, and back.

Mike. Carriere
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Mike. Carriere

I think it’s good for people to try it out for me. I go bare foot. Every day. I like. Walking. On rocks. And. Thing. All so. I like show off. Doing. It

missy mcquaid cleary
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missy mcquaid cleary

Been doing this for a long time. Granted it was better in Virginia Beach than in Denver b with a couple of feet of snow. But, people ask questions. My students parents asked questions. Doing it again.

Dinu
Guest

Without shoes, life is better. Barefoot is the best !